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News in category "Surviving Mars"

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YouTube Source:  Paradox Interactive

Categories:  Surviving MarsTrailer

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Published by on o'clock


YouTube Source:  Paradox Interactive

Categories:  Surviving MarsTrailer

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Published by on o'clock

Hi, folks!

I am back with the final dev diary for you this year, this time focusing on the human habitats and the lives of the colonists in Surviving Mars.

While setting up an automated colony staffed by the little drone guys can be a fun experience by itself, it also serves a larger purpose - paving the road for the first human settlements on the red planet.

But why would you need humans in your colony at all?

Thank you for the excellent question, Mr Skynet. The human colonists are required to perform many complicated tasks such as producing most of the advanced resources, managing complex underground mining endeavours and doing research. There are over 100 technologies, all unlocking new benefits for your colony. So, plenty of research to keep you busy!

The flipside is that your colonists are somewhat more delicate than the lowly drones. They tend to need functional life support, for example. And they kinda like medical care, food, entertainment... To sum it up - you need some kind of habitable settlements protected from radiation, the harsh Martian climate, supplied with all the necessities and, ideally, at least a few of the luxuries, that your colonists may want. I present to you... the Domes:

Beautiful, aren't they? The Domes are, at least in my eyes, the most iconic pieces of art in the game. Inspired by the classic somewhat naive, somewhat optimistic retro sci-fi aesthetics, these points of light in the Martian night represent our idealized idea for the first human settlement on another planet.

Our goal was not hard realism. Realistically, a manned colony on Mars would almost certainly be at least partially underground, and even if dome-like structures are employed, they would probably not look like our Domes. However, an underground colony will not be very appealing to live in, and we wanted to create a place that invokes the sentiment "Wow, I really want to leave Earth and go live there!"

Building utopia

Domes come in various sizes, but all of them are mega-structures meant to house other buildings. Most of the buildings related to colonists can be placed only under Domes - this includes living quarters, research labs, certain factories and service buildings. Domes are expensive constructions, and space underneath is premium, so you are solving a spacial puzzle with every Dome you create.

Placing any building takes valuable space, and you have to maintain a careful balance between residences and workplaces. Food production, research and production of advanced resources can be distributed between Domes, but you can also create specialized Domes focusing on one particular gameplay aspect.

A dedicated farming Dome can feed a significant portion of your colony. A luxury service and residential Dome will provide comfortable conditions for the Colonists living inside, increasing their birth rate and morale. A mining Dome may be meant to service nearby resource extractors, located just outside the Dome, providing plenty of living space for miners and the facilities to handle the stress caused by their work.

The monumental central structure in a Dome is called a Spire. Most Domes can have only one single Spire, but the Spire grants a powerful benefit to the entire Dome, specializing it even further in a chosen direction. An Arcology provides residential space for numerous colonists, a Water Reclamation System recycles vital H20, while a Network Node boosts all research conducted in the Dome.

Livin' the Mars life

So, we've already established that you will need Colonists to keep many of your buildings operational. It is good to keep in mind that some of your Colonists have individual specializations that allow them to perform much better in certain workplaces. To get the most of your buildings, you will have to either cherry pick the needed specialists from Earth or secure a way to train them in the Colony. Generally, workers are assigned to their workplaces automatically, but you have the tools to micromanage their assignments and work shifts if you wish.

The current condition of any individual colonist is represented by four key stats - Health, Sanity, Comfort and Morale. Letting any of this drop too low has negative consequences. Colonists at low Health can't work, and if their Health depletes, they will die. Colonists with no remaining Sanity will suffer mental breakdowns and may gain negative traits such as alcoholism or gambling addiction (more on traits - below). Colonists at low Morale may become Renegades and start causing trouble in the Colony. Conversely, high stats may grant positive effects - for example, citizens with high Comfort are more inclined to have children.

Unlike the drones in the automated colony, your colonists are not created equal. Each possesses a different set of traits with each trait granting some different effect to the colonist. A hardworking colonist performs better at his workplace while an idiot may cause a catastrophic malfunction, shutting down the building. Some traits are exceptionally rare and may benefit the colony as a whole - having a Celebrity will secure additional funding from Earth, as long as the said Celebrity survives on Mars.

Just as a teaser, here are few more example traits with their current in-game descriptions:

Survivor - Loses less Health without food, water, oxygen or when living in an unpowered Dome

Nerd - Gains a temporary Morale boost every time a new technology is researched

Hypochondriac - Will randomly visit Medical buildings and take Sanity damage if unable to do so

Chronic Condition - Loses Health each day

Guru (rare trait) - Randomly spreads other traits of this colonist to persons in the same Dome

As your colony grows, you will gain the options to cultivate certain desirable traits and treat some of the negative ones. And no, the definition of treatment doesn't include setting up domes without Oxygen supply and encouraging the colonists with the undesirable traits to move there. You monster! :p

You can filter the traits and specializations of colonists coming from Earth (but not of children born on Mars), as well as the individual Dome populations - if you want to create a Dome populated by Fit Middle-Aged Survivors and Sexy Nerds, you have the tools! You can even find some perfectly valid in-game rationalization to do so. Probably.

As you can see, I love the traits and their effects - it is a wonderful, expandable system that will only get richer as we continue to work on the game.

That's all for today's diary! Thank you for reading and have a wonderful holiday! See you in 2018, when I plan to write about something very mysterious.

Source: 1 ]

Category:  Surviving Mars

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Published by on o'clock


YouTube Source:  Paradox Interactive

Category:  Surviving Mars

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Published by on o'clock


YouTube Source:  Paradox Interactive

Category:  Surviving Mars

0 Comments


 
Published by on o'clock

Hi everyone!

Boian Spasov from Haemimont here (@Blizzard_Haemimont here on the forum) with another dev diary on Surviving Mars. While I focused on the high-level vision in my previous diary, this time, I plan to dive in the nitty-gritty gameplay details, talking about the many resources relevant to your bold colonization mission.

Design Goals

When creating the resource system, we had three major design goals in mind

Resources are very different from one another - we didn't want to create a system where resources are differentiated by their icons on the user interface and nothing more. Quite the opposite - we made a concentrated effort to make them very different in terms of acquisition, production and/or purpose. This created a somewhat steeper learning curve compared to the typical city-builder, but opened the potential for much deeper gameplay.

Resources feel scarce - Surviving Mars is a city-builder, but it has a strong survival element. It felt right to make resource depletion and scarcity a constant problem that you will face. The decisions where to land your first rocket and where to expand require some careful planning. Scanning for new resources is important. Finding a rich deposit is a cause for celebration. Failure to secure a certain resource is a much bigger problem than in the typical game of the genre - it can even spell out the end of the entire colony. As a last-ditch effort, buildings and vehicles may be salvaged to reuse some of their construction resources in order to survive a critical situation.

Becoming self-sufficient and independent from supply with resources from Earth is an admirable long-term goal.

Resources are positional - transporting a resource to the place where it is needed is just as important as getting it produced in the first place. The bulk of the resource transportation happens automatically once set up, but a specific delivery can be manually ordered in case of an emergency.

Power cables and pipe infrastructure is present in the entire colony. Drone workers and larger vehicles carry most of the other resources here they are needed. Rocket ships land occasionally to deliver emergency supplies from Earth. Getting resources to the places where they are needed should not be trivial - underground tunnels may be required to reach isolated parts of the map and the transportation vehicles usually require resources to perform their function, threatening to shut down your carefully planned systems in case of a Power or Fuel shortage.

Basic Resources - Metals, Concrete, Rare Metals and Food

Automated extractors placed on spots rich in sulfur in the Martian soil, dig up the sulfur-rich regolith and store it as ready to use mix. It is later transported and heated, turning it into strong and enduring concrete.

Scarce amounts of metals may be gathered directly from meteorite remains on the surface. Exploiting underground metal deposits is more complex and not fully automated - it requires a special building staffed by colonists, so it is not quite possible until the colony houses human residents.

Rare metals are even scarcer and have a limited uses on Mars such as creating electronics. They are valuable enough to be exported to Earth, securing the much needed funding for everything else required by the colony.

Individual resource deposits offer different resource quantity and grade. Deep deposits cannot be exploited or discovered initially, but will become available later in the game.

Resource extractors produce useless Waste Rock as a by-product. Transporting this waste product to places where it would not get in your way presents a minor problem by itself.

Food production on Mars is challenging, although, as we know from "The Martian," not impossible. Still, it is likely that your first colonists will have to rely on supply secured from Earth. There are many different types of crops to grow as well as fungal farms offering a more exotic food source.

Advanced Resources - Polymers, Electronics, Machine Parts and Fuel

While basic resources are usually produced from resource deposits, advanced resources usually require another resource as a material. They are rarely needed in large quantities early in the game, but are still relevant, even at this stage.

Polymers, electronics, and machine parts are made in dedicated factories, each of them requiring colonist workforce to function. A fledgling colony will almost certainly not be able to secure the supply of these resources during the early stages of colonization and will have to rely on shipments from Earth.

Using the CO2 from the Martian atmosphere and hydrogen from water the colony can produce fuel. The process uses a series of relatively simple chemical reactions to produce methane and oxygen which are used as propellant and are needed for the return trip of the rocket ships to Earth. Fuel production is automated and does not require colonists. Processed fuel is highly explosive, so it might be a good idea to store it where it cannot do much harm if an accident occurs.

Grid resources - Power, Oxygen, Water

Grid resources are distributed through the colony using pre-set infrastructure - a power grid or a pipe network for Oxygen and Water. Both pipes and cables are prone to failures, and large networks require regular maintenance by drone workers. The crops you plan will have an impact on the colony Oxygen and Water consumption.

Different Power sources have their own strength and weaknesses. Solar Panels do not function during the night and take a severe penalty during dust Storms, so the colony has to rely on batteries or have alternative power sources.

Several people asked about our decision to include wind energy as a possible power source. While it was previously thought that wind power is not viable in the conditions of the sparse Martian atmosphere, in the recent years NASA is seriously considering it as an alternative power source for a potential Mars mission.

More advanced and reliable Power sources will become available as the game progresses.

Water on Mars is usually found frozen and underground. If a deposit is not available in the vicinity of the colony, it can also be extracted from the atmosphere, but this method is more costly.

Oxygen is produced from the atmospheric Carbon Dioxide by a device we lovingly call "MOXIE". Since colonists will die very quickly without this vital resource and the MOXIE can be somewhat unreliable in certain situations, keeping an emergency supply in an Oxygen tank is a must.

The Final Resource - Funding

Money may make the Earth go around, but on Mars, its usage is quite limited. Your immediate problems such as dust storms, malfunctions, and suffocation, cannot be solved simply by throwing bags of money at them and this is quite an intentional design decision on our part.

The Funding of the colony, measured in millions of dollars, is only relevant in your dealings with Earth. You can request additional rockets carrying resources, vehicles and building prefabs up to the limits of your available Funding and the rocket cargo capacity. The payload is fully customizable, as seen in the screenshot.

Since the rocket travels for a while, it may not arrive fast enough to solve your urgent problems, but may eventually grant you a reprieve from whatever crisis you are currently suffering. Keep in mind that the rockets will have to be refueled for the return trip and buying new rockets is quite expensive. To maximize the benefits from resupply you may wish to load more useful cargo on each trip than you will immediately need and to secure fuel production before you run out of Rockets. There are few ways to earn Funding and they are not always available, so take care to use your considerable starting funds wisely and to always plan long term!

That's all for this dev diary - join me next month when I plan to talk in depth about the permanent human settlements on the red planet. Until then, I would be happy to chat with you in this thread. Just remember that we are still keeping some things under wraps, so I would not be able to answer all your questions yet.

P.S. PC Gamer interviewed me yesterday and showcased our latest trailer for resources. Which you can watch below. You can also read the interview (should you wish, here).

Source: 1 ]

Category:  Surviving Mars

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Published by on o'clock

Hi everyone!

My name is Boian Spasov, and I've been working as a designer at Haemimont Games for more than ten years now. I have been a long time avid reader of the Paradox dev diaries, so I feel very excited to write the first dev diary for Surviving Mars. We've been teamed up with Paradox on this project for a while, but it was very hush-hush until a few months ago, so it feels really good to finally be able to talk openly about our baby.

The survival city builder in space​

Coming from the Tropico series we wanted to create something really different both in terms of theme and gameplay and I can confidently say that Surviving Mars ended up unique. Your task in Surviving Mars is to create a beautiful and functional colony on the surface of the red planet. The game is undoubtedly a city builder, but not your average city builder. It is an intimate experience focused on creating interconnected systems and testing them against the threats of the harsh environment.

[​IMG] ​

Abundant dangers​

Elon Musk famously said that he'd like to 'die on Mars, just not on impact.' We took this statement to heart and turned it into a game.

Colonizing the red planet is and should be a tall order, and many things can go wrong, and there are plenty of ways for your colonists to perish. Just not on impact.

You will test your budding colony against the real problems and dangers that a potential Mars colonization mission will face - environmental hazards, scarcity of materials, failing systems and lack of vital resources. More details will be coming in a future dev diary!

The red sandbox​

While all our previous city-builders created here at Haemimont are campaign-oriented, offering more of a "rollercoaster ride" kind of experience, we really wanted to focus on the sandbox potential of the genre this time. We strived to make Surviving Mars a game that inspires you to replay, experiment, try crazy stuff, fool around, set your own goals and come back to it for many months and years ahead!

Science vs. fiction​

Surviving Mars was inspired by the old, idealistic sci-fi stories. You know the ones - from the time when the Galaxy was full of mystery and wonder, and humanity was striving to build a better future among the stars, instead of fighting its own inner demons. This lighthearted and somewhat nostalgic source of inspiration shines both in the game aesthetics and narrative.

We wanted to keep the science in the game plausible without diving into minutiae. Barring some purely fantastic elements that are best saved for a future dev diary, the scientific aspect in Surviving Mars is realistic, but the game is not thematically centered on science. It is about the dream of the first human settlement on another planet.

It is time to wrap this up. In this diary I talked about the high-level vision of the game, teasing some details here and there without going into specifics, but fear not - the juicy features will be disclosed in detail in future dev diaries. What would you like to hear about next?

As my parting gift, here is a video in which some of our key team members explore Mars... from Earth:


P.S. You can also read a juicy interview with Gabi and find out more about the game here.

Source: 1 ]

Category:  Surviving Mars

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Published by on o'clock


YouTube Source:  Paradox Interactive

Event:  gamescom 2017

Categories:  Surviving MarsTrailerVideo Games

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Published by on o'clock


YouTube Source:  Paradox Interactive

Event:  gamescom 2017

Categories:  Surviving MarsTrailer

0 Comments





News in category "Surviving Mars"

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